Melanie Cheskes

Melanie Cheskes


PEACE Cofounder, Individual and Family Therapist

Melanie Cheskes has been working as a clinical social worker since 2012, providing psychotherapy to youth, adults, couples and families. Melanie will work hard with you to develop an understanding of your strengths and challenges, and identify your goals. Melanie is direct and transparent, while being mindful of moving at a pace that works for you. She will not shy away from the things that are hardest for you, but will help you go there by using compassion, empathy, curiosity, humour, and whatever else it takes. With you, Melanie will learn about and tackle habits and ingrained patterns non-judgementally, moving towards knowledge and skills that will improve your life.


Melanie works with clients on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidality
  • Self-harm
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • LGBTQ questions and concerns
  • Emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Trauma


In individual work, Melanie will ask you the difficult questions to help you observe your own thoughts and urges, and make connections between your internal experiences, belief systems and behaviours. She will teach you skills and help you learn how to apply them, even in the contexts that are most difficult for you.

With couples and family members, Melanie will work hard to help you uncover what is beneath the anger, avoidance, resentment, blame and hopelessness, and better understand your role in ingrained relationship patterns and dynamics. Melanie will offer psychoeducation, modelling and direction for more effective communication, even when it’s hardest. She will hold a grounded posture, staying focused on your goals in order to help you self-reflect, listen for understanding, be accountable, repair damage, and make real positive change.

As a DBT group facilitator, Melanie’s passion for teaching and experiential learning comes through. She is animated and enthusiastic about what she teaches, and sensitive and responsive to what her group members are bringing into the room.

Melanie’s career first began in fine arts and teaching in the early 2000s, from which she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education. Her love of helping people deal with the vulnerabilities and struggles they face in their lives led her to return to school to complete a master’s in social work. Upon completion, she worked as a clinical social worker at several non-profit mental health agencies in Toronto.  

In 2017, she began a business partnership with her clinical mentor, Danny Firestone. They cofounded PEACE Psychotherapy with the intention of building a team of psychotherapists committed to doing the hard work of truly helping people to address their problems effectively and build a life worth living.